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Desert Hearts (1985)

R | | Drama, Romance | 7 March 1986 (USA)
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A woman on the precipice of divorce becomes drawn to a ranchowner's daughter.

Director:

Donna Deitch

Writers:

Jane Rule (novel), Natalie Cooper
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Shaver ... Vivian Bell
Patricia Charbonneau ... Cay Rivvers
Audra Lindley ... Frances Parker
Andra Akers Andra Akers ... Silver
Gwen Welles ... Gwen
Dean Butler ... Darrell
James Staley ... Art Warner
Katie La Bourdette Katie La Bourdette ... Lucille
Alex McArthur ... Walter
Tyler Tyhurst Tyler Tyhurst ... Buck
Denise Crosby ... Pat
Antony Ponzini ... Joe
Brenda Beck Brenda Beck ... Joyce
Sam Minsky Sam Minsky ... Best Man
Patricia Frazier Patricia Frazier ... Change Girl
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Storyline

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranchowner's daughter. The emotions released by their developing intimacy, and Vivian's insecurities about her feelings towards Cay, are played out against a backdrop of rocky landscapes and country and western songs. Written by Neil Lewis <njl@cix.compulink.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The all-time favorite lesbian film classic! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Hearts See more »

Filming Locations:

Reno, Nevada, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,862, 6 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,492,088
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Charbonneau was married at the time of filming and Helen Shaver would meet her future husband Steve Smith, a key grip on the film, while making it. See more »

Goofs

While the film is set in 1959, the opening scene is of the "Super Chief" rail service pulling into Reno, NV, while in fact it was a service of the Santa Fe railroad at the time, one which did not get anywhere near Reno. Compounding the error the scene mistakenly indicates that the line was operated by the Union Pacific Railroad while the diesel locomotive seen pulling the train into the station at Reno is labeled with the (U.S.) Department of Transportation logo, a federal entity established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and which began operation on April 1, 1967. See more »

Quotes

Buck: [to Cay regarding her number of female visitors] How you get all that traffic with no equipment is beyond me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US DVD release is 5 minutes shorter than the theatrical version (91 as opposed to 96 minutes). The most noticeable cut is in the sex scene which is slightly briefer than the original. See more »

Connections

Featured in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

BE BOP A LULA
Written by Gene Vincent, Donald Graves and Tex Davis
Performed by Gene Vincent
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An all time classic.
7 September 2003 | by liam-18See all my reviews

Classic is an overused term, but not in the case of this movie!. I first saw it in 1990 when I was 17 and it had a huge impact on me, I had never really enjoyed romances before with the possible exception of "Marty", but this movie with the 2 very attractive, intelligent, charming leads(Helen Shaver & Patricia Charbonneau), insightful script, subtle direction and gorgeous landscape shocked and moved me. I had never seen women express such profound sexual yearning for one another before, and even in this day of lesbian chiqe this is THE lesbian movie in my mind. I would like to see this movie given the credit it deserves, for starters I would like to see a deluxe DVD re-issue, complete with a documentry including interviews with the cast and crew, background notes about the novel it is based on "Desert of the heart" by Jane Rule, etc, etc. With the 20th anniversery approaching I think a campaign should be started to rescue this movie from "cult" status and put it where it belongs.


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